Some pilot schools could test out an extended day, from 8am to 6pm. Between 95,000 and 135,000 children did not return to school this term, according to new figures published today
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Between 95,000 and 135,000 children did not return to school this term, according to new figures published today.
The number does not include normal absences or students staying at home due to Covid-19.
It is feared some have developed anxiety or mental health problems during the pandemic, while others have quit classes to join county lines gangs which coerce them into delivering drugs across the country.
New plans expected to be backed by ministers could see schools extending their opening hours and possibly opening on Saturdays to make up for the lost teaching time.
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Headteachers would hire tutors for evening lessons, including art, music, and sport to boost children’s mental health, as well as English and Maths.
Some pilot schools could test out an extended day, from 8am to 6pm, after a spending review is announced later this month.
Heads will also ask parents if they would like Saturday mornings for their children, The Times reports.
The additional lessons will be carried out by teachers who will be paid extra to deliver them, or by newly-hired tutors.
AFP via Getty Images)
Earlier this week, we reported the story of an eight-year-old schoolgirl who has been left almost bald after ripping out her hair due to the stress of lockdown.
Amelia, from Bristol, has virtually no hair left apart from a few longer strands at the back of her head and does not leave the house without a bandana or wig.
Her mother, Jemma Mansie, first noticed her daughter began pulling out her eyelashes a month into the first lockdown.
Caters News Agency)
Other pupils are also said to be suffering “separation anxiety” about leaving their families to mix with their peers.
Some are being removed from schools as their parents opted for home education.
Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis, England’s biggest academies trust, told The Times: “We are not just risking a lost generation. We are watching it happen.”
It comes after figures released yesterday showed that one in 20 secondary school pupils in England are believed to have had Covid last week.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that around 4.6 per cent of children in England in school years 7 to 11 – around one in 20 – are likely to have tested positive.
Around one in 85 people in private households in England are likely to have had Covid-19 in the week to September 25, up from one in 90 in the previous week, according to the ONS.
Some headteachers have also warned that their schools were struggling to stay open due to staff absences caused by Covid-19.